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Living Locally

The Fine Diner Bistro gives back

December 14, 2017

After 20 years in the culinary and hospitality industry, Chef Stephen Szostak was tired of the “sex, drugs, and rock and roll” stigma clashing with his values. He decided to open his own restaurant, rooted in his beliefs in generosity and community.

“I wanted to do everything above board, with a high level of ethics and transparency,” he says. The Fine Diner Bistro opened in Inglewood in 2016, serving ‘elevated breakfast and comfort food.’ “Let’s be the catalyst for change.”

Stephen believes that change starts in our backyard. He partners with local non-profits like Leftovers Foundation, an organization that takes leftovers from restaurants like The Fine Diner Bistro to be given to homeless shelters throughout Calgary. “I hated how much untouched food we’d have left after catering an event,” he says.

“There’s a lot you can do with leftovers. It’s all about education.” Stephen says that many of The Fine Diner’s strategic partnerships come down to education on social, environmental, and economic impact.

Taking care of his team like family is of utmost importance to Stephen, even at his expense. He took a pay cut to ensure his staff made fair wages. In doing so, the servers don’t need to rely on tips, so all gratuities are donated to its partner charities – including Mealshare, Leftovers Foundation, and Impact Society.

“It gives our guests an opportunity to give back to the community.”

Stephen hopes that his restaurant and philosophy will become his legacy, with a catering company set to launch in early 2018 and hopes to open at least two more locations in the years to follow.

“I want to be able to show the world that you can give back and still make money. I think if more businesses could do that, we’d be better off as a society because everyone would have food on the table and clothes on their back.”


Visit The Fine Diner Bistro in Inglewood.
Check out the menu here (Stephen recommends the fried chicken and waffles).
Connect with The Fine Diner Bistro on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Click here to learn more about The Fine Diner’s partnerships.
Check out The Fine Diner’s Sustainability Profile.

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Did you know?

52% of Albertans are happiest when they feel a strong connection to nature